My Moment of Truth

France

My Moment of Truth

October 05, 2016
by Simran Heer
It’s ironic how alone you can feel in a city of thousands of people, but even more ironic how you can learn more about yourself in a foreign country than you can in the comfort of your hometown. With every step I take to familiarize myself with my new surroundings, the more I realize how unprepared I am for the lesson this experience will teach me. In the first couple of weeks, simple tasks like grocery shopping, riding the train, or ordering food became challenging endeavors I tried to avoid. With time, came less frustration and more patience.
 Early morning walk through the streets of Antibes

I began to understand how difficult it must be for the people attempting to do these same things in America and being overwhelmed every time they have to step outside the comfort of their own home. There lay my moment of cognizance. For once in my life, I knew what it felt like to take the very same leaps of faith my own parents and the families of many others have done. I underestimated how hard it would be to integrate into a different culture. To just simply assimilate. Every day, I realize how different the values of this small town in France are to the ones of my own.
 Monte Carlo
 
 Village of Eze, lies on the mountains of the Riviera

Here, they practice traditions like restful Sundays to be spent with family. They believe in nurturing relationships instead of temporary interactions for the sake of politeness. I guess the most important thing you can learn from these ventures is to explore a different way of life with an open mind. For me, it was difficult to get used to the fact that not everything existed for the sake of my convenience. To learn and accept that there aren’t always going to be stores open on Sundays just because I need them to be, or that professors don’t care if you’re new to the country and you don’t quite know how to use the bus system yet. Perhaps it is these same challenges millions of other young adults face in my own country, but I have never taken the opportunity to learn or care about. I know now that there is a lot of reflection to be done in these next four months.

 Colorful French Riviera
 
 I could get used to this

Simran H. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a sophomore studying Finance at University of Arizona.

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